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‘I feel like I shouldn’t exist’ … woman with Down’s in abortion fightback

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ICELAND has managed to ‘cure’ Down’s syndrome by aborting almost 100 per cent of its citizens who would have been born with the condition.  

Here in Britain, we’re racing to catch up, with around 92 per cent of those diagnosed with the condition being destroyed before they are born.  

Between January and June this year, Down’s was mentioned on 339 abortion notification forms (that’s one industry that managed to get round the lockdown).  

In the UK, abortion is permitted up to 24 weeks for most reasons. But if the child has a ‘severely life-limiting condition’, which as far the law is concerned covers Down’s, as well as cleft lip and club foot, abortion is permitted up to birth.  

How our legislators manage to square this with the Equalities Act (2010) which prevents discrimination on the grounds of age or disability is a mystery to me. Perhaps killing a child in the womb is technically not discrimination. 

Now one of the eight per cent with Down’s who made it past birth is fighting back. Heidi Carter, 25, from Coventry, has been given permission to challenge the current law in the High Court.  

As she puts it: ‘At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be “seriously handicapped”. They include me in that definition of being seriously handicapped – just because I have an extra chromosome! Can you believe that?’ 

Ms Carter told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘The current law is unfair. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t exist, and that I’d be better off dead in the eyes of the law.  

‘The policy basically says that it’s normal for a baby with Down’s syndrome to be terminated right up until birth. What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I feel amazing knowing that the case is going to be heard in the High Court.’ 

Her lawyer, Paul Conrathe, said: ‘This case addresses a matter that is fundamentally offensive and discriminatory – that unborn babies with a disability, and in this case Down’s syndrome, should be aborted up to birth.’ 

Predictably, the powerful, wealthy and influential abortion industry is not happy. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said it opposed ‘any attempt to stop women from making their own decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy’. 

Well, up to now they’ve had an unfair advantage. They have silenced the opposition by aborting 92 per cent of them. 

Ms Carter has supporters in some surprising places. The UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities has recommended the UK change its abortion laws so that babies with disabilities are not singled out for abortion. 

Our own Equalities and Human Rights Commission states that the law ‘is offensive to many people; it reinforces negative stereotypes of disability (and) is incompatible with valuing disability and non-disability equally’.  

The 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion for Disability found the vast majority of those who gave evidence believed allowing abortion up to birth on the grounds of disability is discriminatory, contrary to the spirit of the Equality Act 2010, and that it affects wider public attitudes towards discrimination.  

The inquiry recommended that Parliament should review the question of allowing abortion on the grounds of disability and should consider repealing section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act, which allows for it. 

Ms Carter, who has recently married (the court documents are in her maiden name of Crowter), is a brave and charming young woman. BPAS and the rest of the abortion industry must be fuming that she managed to survive being in the womb to become a thorn in their flesh. She and her legal team have set up a crowdfunding page. To find out more, or to make a contribution, see here

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